There are a few very important things you should know and perhaps think about before you decide to submit a claim on your auto insurance policy. I will discuss a few scenarios too so that you will get a better understanding how each situation works. Please remember ever situation is different, these are just some general guidelines.
Insurance companies look at what you pay them vs. what they have to pay out for you. No matter what kind of policy you have, basically if the insurance company isn't making money they are not happy. In most cases, if you have three claims within 3 years you will probably be cancelled. However, you should talk to your agent before deciding whether or not to submit the claim.
If someone is injured, you must file a claim. There is no other option. This way you will also be protected if you are sued. The insurance company will hire an attorney and pay to go to court and protect and defend you in a court of law.
If you are hit by someone else and it is their fault, we recommend trying to go through the other persons insurance carrier first. That way it is not a mark on your record. If you are dissatisfied or not getting service in a timely manner from the other carrier. By all means contact us and we will assist you in submitting a claim to your insurance carrier. Then your insurance carrier will fight it out for you, and go after the other carrier to recover any money paid to you and your deductible if applicable.
Now if you suffer a large loss, your car is totaled, you have $20,000 worth of inventory stolen from your business, or perhaps a partial fire that damages $10,000 of your home there is no question. That is what insurance is for and you should submit the claim. It is the smaller losses that you should think about before submitting.
Sometimes the consequences of submitting the claim outweigh the benefit of any money you receive from the carrier. For example: If you have a personal auto policy and accidentally hit your garage while backing out and submit the claim because your bumper had a small dent or scratch and it cost $600 to fix. You have a $500 collision deductible so the carrier will only give you $100 and your policy premium may increase at renewal because of the At Fault Accident.
Again, every situation is different. We encourage you to call us to discuss your options and we can help you make an informed decision. We also offer more information on things to know before you submit a claim under the client service tab here on our website.
As always, if you have questions or need more information, please feel free to contact me or one of our three locations. Even if you are not our existing client we would be happy to provide you with a free insurance review.